A Pact with the Devil

 

 

Would it surprise you to know that the average person is on 14 different medications by the time they die?

What most people don’t know is that this process begins much earlier in life, and stress can play a major part in it.

In the traditional sense, stress is simply a physiological response to a perceived circumstance.

Now in situations where a physical action is appropriate, these responses are fantastic.  We become able to function at a far superior level that we would otherwise be capable.  But the modern dilemma is that we are now almost entirely sedentary.

Most of the stress we encounter today tends to be faced from an office chair – and the stress never seems to end.  There is no real resolution, and no realistic way of physically responding to the threat.

In the modern office it isn’t appropriate to leap across the desk and strangle a colleague or your boss, and running away simply isn’t an option either. In many cases (such as time pressure, decision-making or workload) it’s a threat we can’t even see.

Physically, inside, the very responses that were programmed into us since the dawn of time to ensure our survival in a crisis now become the greatest threat to our lives themselves.

  1. Heart rate and blood pressure increase putting strain on our heart, blood vessels and arteries, placing us a greater risk of a heart attack, aneurism or stroke.
  2. Digestion suffers as the body prioritises activity to the muscles and major organs.
  3. Additional sugars and fats dumped into the bloodstream to use as extra energy are re-cycled and deposited as dangerous trunk fat.
  4. The constant unresolved stress overloads the adrenal glands, thyroid and pancreas – further compounded with the addition of coffee, cigarettes or other stimulant drugs.

Without the natural responses available to us, we become completely wired, yet worn-out.  Exhilarated, yet exhausted.  Fired up, but fed up.  And we can be assured of one thing – it will kill us sooner rather than later.

Let’s face it; stress is already embedded in the city, and it’s a devils pact. You sell your soul to the corporation, and it rewards you very well and looks after you. But it expects you to do its bidding, and generate the money.

Your private life can at times be extremely difficult, but it often takes second place along with your health and family.  Sometimes we have to remind people, “You’re going to burn out – you won’t be in a job, but in a hospital if you continue like this.”

One of the reasons that burnout is so severe and traumatic when it arrives, is that few accept that it is coming. It’s our ‘alpha’ drive that keeps the wheels of business turning. What the markets won’t allow, and what you can never admit to, is breaking down, burning out or stressing out.  Failure at any level is inconceivable, unacceptable – and unforgiveable.

It seems the first rule of command at the top is NOT talking about the psychological meltdown that’s just around the corner, so you start the day with coffee to get going, use high sugar snacks to get you through the day and unwind with alcohol at night.  Alcohol starts as an anaesthetic against the pain of pressure, yet can quickly become a destructive force in its own right.

Younger and younger men and women are ignoring the needs of their body and suddenly find themselves flaming out, having depressive episodes, or worse, experiencing a stroke or heart attack too early in their working lives.

Most people don’t really know what else they could do without their jobs. It’s a vocation and a profession, of which social standing and self-worth are important elements. However it’s also a lifestyle that by its very nature encourages more stress.  The perpetual treadmill that keeps going faster, and faster and faster…

That being said, statistics do show consistently that top performers in business, who survive the rigors of command, share some common traits.  They ALWAYS take their holidays, and they always prioritise quality sleep and time out.  They never miss exercise, they feed their body high-performance foods to keep it healthy – and what’s more they don’t abdicate this responsibility to others.

It is a top-down issue as leadership behaviour influences everyone else in the organisation. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is a personal option, but there is no doubt that the behaviours of senior management strongly influence the behaviour of employees.

And the key here is visible behaviour. What a manager says or writes has limited effect, but what he or she actually demonstrates through his or her behaviour is extremely powerful.

The great physicist, Albert Einstein, said, “Leading by example is not the main means of influencing another.  It is the only means.”

Companies now have to recognise the value of their cerebral capital. Their top people have to be looked after because it’s too costly when they break down.

Stress-Busting Strategies.

On the face of it there are some very obvious solutions.

  1. Prioritise 7-8 hours sleep – without a mobile phone in the room.
  2. Build stress-burning physical activities into your day – like weight training and climbing stairs.
  3. Get an Adrenal Stress Index Test, (ASI) to assess the body’s production of the major stress hormones, cortisol, and DHEA. This profile serves as a critical tool for uncovering biochemical imbalances that can underlie anxiety, chronic fatigue, obesity, diabetes and a host of other clinical conditions.
  4. Supplement with nutrients, such as vitamin C, magnesium and zinc, which can become depleted during ongoing stress – causing a hyper-active brain that won’t switch off…
  5. Commit to eating only nutrient-dense, high-performance foods.
  6. Avoid alcohol during the working week.
  7. Commit to a lean bodyweight. Excess fat is toxic to the business body and brain.

There’s more information, discussion and strategic action points in our latest book “The Wealthy Body in Business”. Pre-order your copy HERE

What are you THINKING…?

By Tim Bean –

As a business leader, you’re faced with making strategic decisions every day of the working week.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to have the clarity you need to make the most EFFECTIVE decisions for your organisation – or yourself…

What three things could you be doing from TODAY, to build a better wellbeing platform to support your own professional outcomes…?

Keeping Your Electrics Charged…

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By Anne Laing

In the cut and thrust of corporate life we often forget that our business body is actually an electric collection of cells.

Nerve impulses are electrical energy signals creating energy fields and electrical signals all around the body.

In the brain alone there are around 100 billion and we need these to be in top condition for business.

We need good electrics….

  • For thinking.
  • For relaying information to and from our environment.
  • For controlling the internal functions of the body.
  • For muscle movement.

At the heart of every cell there is a nucleus in the centre – positively charged – and the outer cell membrane is negatively charged.

Dr Johanna Budwig* discovered that commercial processing of fats and oils destroys the field of electrons the cell membranes (60-75 trillion cells) in our bodies must have to fire and function properly, thus damaging or shutting down the electrical field of the cells and allowing chronic diseases to take hold.

A proper balance of minerals and electrolytes make up the electrically charged ions that help regulate our electrical signals. Without doubt good electrics require good food. A good place to start is by eating less C.R.A.P. (Carbonated drinks, Refined Sugars, Artificial sweeteners and chemicals, Processed grains and fast foods.)

These foods cause abnormal concentrations and imbalances of our blood mineral profiles – which can affect energy, vitality and psychological functions (such as emotions, memory, perception, learning and behaviour) – just to name a few.

You could also eat more F.O.O.D. (Fruit and Veggies, Organic protein, Oils (like unprocessed organic coconut oil, avocado oil, organic butters, macadamia or nut-based oils and butters, organic olive oil), and Drink more water.

Other external electrical stressors to our electrical circuits include:

  • Microwaves. Use only when absolutely necessary.
  • Wi-Fi, turn off at night or get your connections hard-wired into the home and office.
  • Mobile phones. Carry them away from your body and don’t keep them in your bedroom at night.
  • Cell towers. Don’t live near cell towers or heavy-duty power lines.

To make you feel fantastic, discharge regularly and shed some of that excess electromagnet pollution, try barefoot walking or running along the beach or find some grass, kick off your shoes and do a few breathing squats, or jog around a slightly damp park…!

 
*Dr Johanna Budwig (1908-2003), was a pioneer and top European Cancer Research Scientist, Biochemist, Blood Specialist, Pharmacologist and Physicist. She was a seven-time Nobel Prize nominee. http://www.cancertutor.com/budwig/

A Recipe for Myopia

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Being in business we are always glued to some screen or another.

Yet the addiction to the screen use goes beyond its attention-grabbing nature and the business of business. Screen-time creates a very near and static focal length for our eyes. The ciliary muscle in the eye relaxes when looking into the distance, and it contracts at shorter focal lengths.

Gazing at a screen for hours on end is effectively practicing constant contraction of the ciliary muscle.  Too much ‘near’ work, in the absence of ‘mid-range’ and ‘distance’ work, influences the progression of myopia (short sightedness)

Being office bound reduces time spent outside, which is also suggested to lead to myopia.

Based on epidemiological studies, Ian Morgan, a myopia researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, estimates that children needed to spend around three hours per day under light levels of at least 10,000 lux to be protected against myopia.

When outdoors, the eye becomes accustomed to long viewing distances, and this has a protective effect. This ability was essential for primeval man to perceive hidden danger, changes in terrain and weather patterns in order to survive.

When the eye is exposed to bright light, the retina releases dopamine. Dopamine signals the eye to change from night vision, which relies on rod-shaped photoreceptors, to day vision mode.  Day vision utilises cone-shaped photoreceptors, which also provide colour sensitivity.  When there isn’t enough of the right light, this cycle gets disrupted.

Overcast days may provide less than 10,000 lux – even outdoors – but sunny days can provide much more than that, even if you’re wearing sunglasses. Indoor settings typically max out at about 500 lux, so make sure you get out of the office, and into the bright light of day as often as you can.

Nature 519,276–278 (19 March 2015) International weekly journal of science http://www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120

Your Ultimate Power Source…

By Anne Laing –

I was going to skip my daily gym workout yesterday afternoon.  We had already walked hills planting trees, plus it was cold and I had computer work to catch up on.

I knew from past experience that I would feel much better after 30 minutes of heavy gym work.  I did eventually go (after much inner dialogue) and I did feel better — not just refreshed, but more energised, clear-headed and better prepared than I would have otherwise been to tackle the work load ahead.

I had to consciously reframe my exercise session thinking of it as a positive, restorative activity, therefore making it more likely that I would continue this daily habit – even though I often didn’t feel like doing it.

Many studies show that simply advocating physical activity to lose weight and be healthier won’t keep a busy business person on track for any length of time. The neuroscience of pain/reward has shown that it is the immediate paybacks of feeling better; having more energy, a better mood and less stress that will keep us motivated.

Many people are unconscious deflectors – devoting all their nurturing efforts and energies on others – but when we fail to prioritize self-care because we are too busy, our energy is not replenished and our health is not revitalised. Instead, we end up exhausted and mentally fatigued.

Our ability to ‘be there’ for loved ones, or to be on the top of our professional game, is compromised.

People who make physical activity a priority don’t necessarily have more time, motivation or passion than anybody else.  They will, however, book in a slot for exercise because they know it enhances how they feel, their energy, their performance and the quality of their work-life balance.

In Dr. Segar’s book “No Sweat” she writes about The Paradox of Self-care;

“The more energy you give to caring for yourself, the more energy you have for everything else.  View physical activity as a power source for everything else you want to accomplish.”

“Consistency always trumps Quantity!”

When establishing a fitness habit, remember that consistency is the key. Next is acknowledging challenges – always have a backup activity you can do.  This need not be as strenuous as your normal activity but something that will give you that feel-good reward – something as simple as a brisk evening walk at sunset.

So next time you’re tempted to flag away your training session in favour of work, weather or wine, remember that exercise is the power source for everything you want to accomplish in life…

Feeling a bit Drained Lately…?

Giving blood - Happysimpleton-dotcomBy Anne Laing –

Have you donated blood recently?

Having heard about the health benefits of giving blood, Tim and I went along to the mobile blood clinic on Caroline Bay, Timaru, and each donated a unit of blood.  Whilst I believe this is an important contribution towards saving lives, the life and health you save may also be your own…

Historically bloodletting was used to “treat” a wide range of diseases. More recently in history this was carried out by barbers.. The red-and-white-striped pole of the barbershop, still in use today, is a symbol from this practice.

Why do men over 50 suffer more heart attacks and cardiovascular disease than women ?

It is thought this may be related to the fact that men’s blood is usually ‘thicker’ than women’s due to a higher red blood cell count.

As we age our blood cells also age, and they become stiff and less pliable. This also depends on lifestyle.

Anti-ageing expert Dr Jonathan Wright http://wrightnewsletter.com/about found that most cardiovascular disease occurs at either junctions or bends in blood vessels.

As the blood circulates, the stiffer blood cells damage the interior lining of the blood vessels, especially in these junctions, according to Dr Wright. This damage causes inflammation and calcification to build up and eventually block the interior of the blood vessels.

We know a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease rises after menopause, and this is thought to be in someway due to the cessation of menstruation.

Statistics also now show those who regularly give blood are less likely to have a heart attack.

It is possible then, that when the body is forced to produce new, fresh blood cells to replace blood lost through either menstruation or donation, the risk of damage from older, stiffer blood cells is reduced.

It’s a double bonus!! By making the time to give blood we help others, but the big pay-off is that we help ourselves by creating newer, younger blood cells.

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Triple Whammy For Men

By Anne Laing – Overworked businessman relaxing from his stress rubbing his neck

Abdominal obesity, Low blood testosterone, and Erectile Dysfunction (E.D.).

These problems are not just aesthetic. Gut fat reduces blood testosterone levels, which decreases sex drive, the capacity for erections, energy levels, aggressiveness in business and self-confidence, according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine 12/2007

Erection problems often stem from abnormalities in the cell lining of the male blood vessels.  Healthy cells secrete a chemical called nitric oxide, which is very important for delivering blood to the penis and other body tissues.  Blood vessels in the ‘out-of-shape man’ lose their capacity to control blood flow and therefore are unable to instigate healthy erections.  Excess abdominal fat is a sure sign of poor metabolic health and low nitric oxide release.

Triple Threat 

So guys, too much abdominal fat presents a triple threat; women perhaps won’t find you as attractive, low testosterone destroys your drive, and sexual performance goes down the drain.

Solution:

1. Testosterone levels are increased by reducing alcohol, caffeine, processed fats and sugars in the diet.

2.  Lifting weights and building muscle will help burn abdominal fat off faster, and stimulate production of Human Growth Hormone, DHEA and Testosterone.

3.  Check your free testosterone levels with a doctor experienced in bio-identical treatment of testosterone deficiency, such as The Centre for Men’s health: www.centreformenshealth.co.uk

It is important to get 1 & 2 right first, and the results will be dramatic.